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Europe and US help Nintendo profits soar

But annual results expose a wobbly Japan.

Nintendo has reported record-breaking annual sales, but revealed a weak Japanese underbelly in the process.

Operating profit was a massive USD 5.64bn for the year (ended 31st March), which is put into perspective by EA's entire revenue of USD 4.1bn. Net profit worked out at USD 2.8bn, up 8.5 per cent year-on-year. That climb is not as dramatic as previous years, but Nintendo puts that down to the "significant deterioration" of the worldwide economy.

The bread was largely won by rampant DS and Wii sales. The handheld shifted a whopping 31m units over the 12 months, while the Wii shifted 26m units, breaking the 50m lifetime barrier worldwide along the way.

Software stars were Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii, which sold an enormous 16.7m and 15.4m copies, respectively.

But while North American and European numbers are up year-on-year, Japanese figures are down across the board.

Japanese DS hardware sales fell by 37.5 per cent and DS software sales by 20.1 per cent. Similarly, Wii hardware sales fell by 46.2 per cent and Wii software by 12.8 per cent.

Those figures follow nine weeks of PS3 dominance in Japan, which Nintendo is not worried about because there is a whole year to rectify the situation.

The numbers in brief:

Nintendo DS - Hardware (units: FY08-FY09)

  • Japan: 6.4 million-4.0 million (-37.5%)
  • North America: 10.7 million-12.1 million (+13.1%)
  • Rest of the World: 13.3 million-15.1 million (+13.5%)

Nintendo DS - Software

  • Japan: 39.9 million-31.9 million (-20.1%)
  • North America: 65.2 million-81.8 million (+25.5%)
  • Rest of the World: 80.6 million-83.6 million (+3.7%)

Nintendo Wii - Hardware

  • Japan: 3.9 million-2.1 million (-46.2%)
  • North America: 8.2 million-13.0 million (+58.5%)
  • Rest of the World: 6.5 million-11.0 million (+69.2%)

Nintendo Wii - Software

  • Japan: 14.9 million-13.0 million (-12.8%)
  • North America: 64.9 million-113.6 million (+75.0%)
  • Rest of the World: 39.8 million-77.9 million (+95.7%)

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.